2014 World Cup: Tunisia Given New Life After Cape Verde Sanctioned in Qualifiers
In yet another scandal that has rocked Africa's World Cup qualifying proceedings, Tunisia has been given new life after the Cape Verde Islands were sanctioned by FIFA on Thursday, via FIFA.com.
The news comes less than a week after the shocking conclusion to Africa's Group B, which saw Cape Verde upset Tunisia 2-0 in Rades to vault past them and win the group.
Because of the result, Tunisia were seemingly eliminated from World Cup contention while Cape Verde awaited the draw for the final round of qualifying in Africa.
However, a Tunisian complaint alerted FIFA to the possibility that Cape Verde fielded an ineligible player, something the world governing body found to be true.
As a result, the 2-0 victory for Cape Verde was reversed to the standard forfeit scoreline of 3-0 to Tunisia, restoring Tunisia's hopes of qualifying for Brazil while eliminating Cape Verde.
This occurrence is not an unfamiliar one for Africa, as this is the eighth match of just this qualifying round that has been forfeited under similar circumstances.
In fact, Cape Verde was in position to pass Tunisia only because of such occurrences, as they were awarded 3-0 victories in two matches with Equatorial Guinea (one of which they had originally lost 4-3) to give them new life after Tunisia had seemingly clinched the group.
Meanwhile, the Congo are hoping to force FIFA to forfeit a ninth match, as they have accused Niger of fielding an ineligible player, via Moutakilou Mumuni of All Africa. If this is found to be true, the Congo's victory over Niger would vault them ahead of Burkina Faso and eliminate the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations runners-up.
The news that Tunisia is still alive will be greeted with great happiness in the northern African country, but they are in a bit of disarray heading into the final round of qualifying. After all, the coaching position is currently vacant after Nabil Maaloul resigned a day after the loss to Cape Verde.
That situation seems quite fitting for the complete lack of organization that has been prevalent throughout this qualification process in Africa.
Perhaps an extra round of qualifiers would be beneficial in the continent, as it would allow the nations with more advanced footballing organizations to avoid the unacceptable speedbumps that arise from forfeited matches.
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